OLEOFERM consortium is formed by research and technological groups with proven experience in every stage of the whole technology chain. More specifically, the consortium includes 1 SMEs (Small and Medium-size Enterprise) enjoying a high internationally recognized research profile with specific tasks in the implementation of bioprocesses and the use of the carboxylates platforms and 4 RTD institutions from 3 different countries (Spain, France and Slovenia) involved in the optimization of the individual stages of OLEOFERM and the final full integration.
University of Ljubljana
IMDEA Energy (https://www.energy.imdea.org/) is a Maria de Maeztu Center of Excellence with the mission of developing world-class R&D in the field of clean and renewable energy technologies. The Institute aims at contributing to the establishment of a sustainable energy system with a high degree of decarbonisation, economically competitive and securing energy supply. IME is focused on fostering the development of renewable energies and clean energy technologies that have none or minimal environmental impact. OLEOFERM will be developed and led by the Biotechnological Processes Unit (BTPU). BTPU has wide expertise in the different fields of engineering, biology and microbiology. BTPU has been involved in: (i) the design and optimization of biological processes, (ii) the development and implementation of new bioprocesses, (iii) the process scale-up from laboratory to demonstration plant and (iv) the effective technology transfer to the industrial sector. All this expertise has been included via the participation of BTPU in European and National R&D projects among which ACMIBIO, YEAST4BIO and LIGNOYEAST are closely related to the activities to be conducted in OLEOFERM. Likewise, the group has previous experience in ERANET projects (WASTE2BIO-ERANET BEST3 and BIOGASMENA-ERANET Med). In general terms, the research interests of the group are mainly focused on advancing in the development of highly-efficient and cost-effective biotechnological processes to obtain biofuels, bioenergy and bioproducts from different organic waste streams.
In the present project, two senior researchers (Dr. C. Gonzalez-Fernandez and Dr. D. Iribarren) and one senior assistant researcher (Dr. E. Tomás-Pejó) will be involved in the activities to be conducted at OLEOFERM. Additionally, two PhD students and one postdoc will be also involved in the project.
Université Clermont Auvergne
In UCA, Institut Pascal is a joint interdisciplinary research and training unit of 400 people encompassing Engineering and Systems Sciences: Process Engineering, Mechanics, Robotics, Physics for Information Sciences, Health. The Chemical Engineering, Energy and Biosystems
group (GePEB) of IP addresses the production of energy vectors, biomaterials, environmental engineering, food engineering, and artificial closed ecosystems bioprocess engineering through a multi-scale approach. From 2014 to 2019, GePEB has published 183 international papers, and 288 conference papers; the group has also been involved in many projects funded by the French ANR, among which AnabioH2 and ProBHYm on dark fermentation. Within the IMobS3 National Excellence Laboratory (LabEx) on Sustainable Mobility (www.imobs3.uca.fr), GePEB is also the leader of the challenge on biofuels for the future, and promotes the use of SCFAs as platform molecules.
In the present project, two full professors (Ch. VIAL, J.-P. FONTAINE), two assistant professors (G. CHRISTOPHE, A.-V. URSU) and one research engineer (D. DUCHEZ) of IP are involved, as well as a postdoc funded by the project. Prof. Christophe VIAL will be the scientific coordinator for UCA.
University of Ljubljana
University of Ljubljana is the oldest, largest and most important academic institution in Slovenia. UL is divided into 22 faculties and 3 academies. With a variety of educational and research programmes, the Biotechnical Faculty encourages multidisciplinary approaches to education and integral research into issues that are becoming more and more complex and influenced by the interests of various professions. The Faculty’s mission is to offer higher professional education, undergraduate and postgraduate university study programmes, as well as research and professional and advisory services in the areas of living nature (biology, microbiology), agriculture, forestry and fishery (forestry, animal science, agronomy) and in closely related production technologies (wood science, food science, biotechnology). The faculty is a Member of ICA (Association for European Life Science Universities), Member of CASEE Network (ICA regional Network for Central and South Eastern Europe), CEEPUS. Number of research projects in 2018: 155 (44 national projects; 111 international projects, including 18 H2020 projects).
In OLEOFERM, Dr Cene Gostinčar and Professor Nina Gunde-Cimerman are involved.
Jožef Stefan Institute
ožef Stefan Institute (JSI) is the largest and the most prominent research institution in Slovenia, and among the leading research institutions in the region. The research topics of its 28 departments span many disciplines, from physics, information and material sciences to chemistry, environmental sciences and to three departments covering biochemistry, molecular biology and biotechnology. JSI has a track records of prestigious European projects, including several ERC grants. Uroš Petrovič is the founder of yeast genetics and functional genomics laboratory at the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences of JSI. He has previously been involved in several EU-funded projects focusing on yeast biotechnology. His role in the international yeast biotechnology community is illustrated by the role of the section editor for yeast biofuels at the Yeast journals, and as the chair of the scientific and organizing committees of two central international yeast meetings – International Specialized Symposium on Yeasts in 2014, any Yeast Lipid Conference in 2019.
In the present project, Professor Uroš Petrovič will be assisted by Dr. Mojca Ogrizovic.
BIO-VALO company (https://bio-valo.com/) is a technological platform in the field of Biomass valorization and Biogas Production. This platform proposes to private companies or research laboratories to contribute to R&D and make tests to certify new green tech innovations around anaerobic fermentation at a semi-industrial or industrial scale. BIO-VALO owns a fully instrumented pilot bioreactor with a capacity of 250 L equipped for anaerobic digestion that will be used in the project. This pilot is based on an anaerobic digestion plant capable of supplying the different substrates used in the study. For OLEOFERM, the pilot will be equipped with a hollow fiber type filtration module allowing continuous extraction of the SCFAs produced. The personnel involved in OLEOFERM will be Dr. Pierre Fontanille coordinator of this task, assisted by Benoit CHEZEAU, Ph.D. in Process Engineering. S.A.S. BIO-VALO will, therefore, provide staff, analytical tools, materials, and anaerobic digester. The company will also bring its knowledge of the legislative framework, the regulation, the economics, the safety and environmental guidelines, and the actors of the biogas/biolipids sector.